The Age of Consequences

We live in what scientist Wes Jackson calls "the most important moment in human history." The challenges confronting us are like a warning light in the dashboard of a speeding vehicle called Civilization, accompanied by an annoying buzzing sound, requiring attention.

I call this moment the Age of Consequences – a time when the worrying consequences of our hard partying over the past sixty years have begun to bite hard, raising difficult and anguished questions.

How do you explain to your children, for example, what we’ve done to the planet – to their planet? How do you explain not only our actions but our inaction as well? It’s not enough to tell them that adults behave in confusing and often contradictory ways because children today can see the warning light in Civilization’s dashboard for themselves.

When they point, what do we say?

This anguished question created a strong desire in me to document the events that I witnessed as well as try to explain our behavior as a society. Hopefully, we would turn off the warning light in the dashboard, but if we did not I was certain that future generations would want an accounting of our behavior.

So, in 2008 I began to write stories, blending headlines, narrative with travel and research into various projects, and crossing my fingers.

Meanwhile, my work with the nonprofit Quivira Coalition provided hopeful answers to various Age of Consequences concerns, including many ‘low-tech’ solutions involving sunlight, grass, creeks and animals.

These answers included ecological restoration, grassfed beef, local food and carbon sequestration in soils. We saw it as connected – cattle, soil, grass, water, food, people – all working in nature’s image of health and regeneration.

By 2012, I viewed these anguished questions and hopeful answers as two sides of the same coin and explored both in detail in three books: Grass, Soil Hope (2014), the Age of Consequences (2015) and 2% Solutions for the Planet (2015).

Their common message is a simple one: while there’s much to worry about, there’s a lot that we can do together at the grassroots – starting with the grass and the roots.

Today, my work is expanding to include fiction, autobiography and a photography project - all with the aim of interpreting this critical moment in time.

- Courtney

 

 

 

 

  • Two Percent Solutions by Courtney White
  • The Age of Consequences by Courtney White
  • Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White
  • Revolution on the Range by Courtney White
  • Knowing Pecos by Courtney White
  • In the Land of the Delight Makers by Courtney White
  • The Indelible West by Courtney White

New and Upcoming

 

Courtney White at Savory Institute International Conference

1333 Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA, 94010 | Courtney White
Courtney White will be a speaker at this year's Savory Institute International Conference, titled "Artisans of the Grasslands: Crafting the Future for Food and Agriculture." Courtney will participate in a panel on how much meat we should eat at 3:00 PM on Sunday, October 4th. This conference will take place October 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame in the San Francisco Bay area. - See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/two-percent-solutions-for-the-planet#sthash.KfvYLtIR.dpuf

Courtney White at Savory Institute International Conference

1333 Bayshore Hwy, Burlingame, CA, 94010 | Courtney White
Courtney White will be a speaker at this year's Savory Institute International Conference, titled "Artisans of the Grasslands: Crafting the Future for Food and Agriculture." Courtney will participate in a panel on how much meat we should eat at 3:00 PM on Sunday, October 4th. This conference will take place October 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame in the San Francisco Bay area. - See more at: http://www.chelseagreen.com/two-percent-solutions-for-the-planet#sthash.KfvYLtIR.dpuf

 

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Here are two photos I took for a project I call Here & Now:

 

       

Forbidden Palace, Beijing, China 2013                      Shop, Sydney Airport, 2011